Thereafter, a growing number of followers came to believe in the divinity of Jesus as Son of God or Messiah as foretold in the Old Testament.
Largely emerging as a Jewish rebel movement against the commercialization of religion, the Christian church today has over 2 billion followers, the largest of any religion in the world.
During his brief three-year ministry, the charismatic leader drew the ire of both local Jewish leaders and Roman authorities, and was later tried by a local tribunal. He was subsequently tortured, crucified, buried and, according to biblical accounts, rose from the dead three days later, today marked by annual Easter celebrations worldwide.
Like Judaism and Islam, a belief in one God is central to Christianity. This one God
consists of the Holy Trinity - God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Of central importance, believers hold that God the Father sent his son to earth to sacrifice him and in so doing, saved humanity from its sins.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is also traditionally celebrated in such feast days as the Immaculate Conception (December 8) and the Feast of the Assumption (August 15). Today, the Roman Catholic
and Greek Orthodox churches are the two main sects that continue to stress Mary's importance within the Christian hierarchy.
Elsewhere on the Web, delve deeper into the beliefs, holy rites, and the mystery of Christianity at top sites devoted to telling the complete story in pictures, philosophical and biblical texts, related overviews, statistics & historical timelines ...
From Jesus to Christ - The historical Jesus, told in words, images & audio clips from the PBS Frontline presentation with archaeological evidence, a look at the Jewish heritage of the early Christians, a discussion on the role of women in the early Christian church, an overview of the four gospels of the New Testament and the men who wrote them, and the ultimate triumph of Christianity as it grew to become a world religion.
Christian Classics Ethereal Library - Browse or search the virtual book stacks for complete cyber-texts of notable Christian thought & philosophy by author or title, the complete New Testament searchable by chapter & verse, plus a recommended
reading list, online forum.